Sep 242010
Eagles head coach Andy Reid

Eagles head coach Andy Reid

September 24 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan:

“While the Mighty Wizard dazzles and distracts us with fiery news flashes and puffs of green smoke, let’s take a little peek behind the curtain.

There sits Andy Reid, a man forced to make jaw-dropping quarterback decisions because, frankly, he doesn’t have the magical powers necessary to fix the football team he’s constructed. Why address the cracks in the foundation and the gaping hole in the wall when you can create a diversion with Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb?

We have seen this before. See if you notice a pattern.

In 1985, a panicked Marion Campbell benched Ron Jaworski after an ugly season opener and inserted rookie Randall Cunningham into the starting job. Three losses later, Jaworski was back under center.

In 1994, Rich Kotite finally pulled the plug on Cunningham and threw Bubby Brister into the starting lineup. Brister lost his only two starts.

In 1998, Ray Rhodes opened the season with Bobby Hoying as his starting QB. After 21/2 games, Hoying was out and Rodney Peete was in.

The pattern: Those were the final seasons for each of those three head coaches. The details vary. None of those three situations is identical to the current mess or to each other. In each case, it turned out the quarterback shell game was a desperate ploy, a last-ditch attempt to salvage a season, a job, a reputation.

In this case, the Eagles have spent a lot of resources – money and draft picks – to build the second Reid generation. After divesting himself of the final relics of his first batch – Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins and the rest – Reid didn’t even try to hide his delight as he prepared to unveil his newer, presumably better version of the Eagles.

Kolb was the centerpiece. An ingeniously reconfigured offensive line would give the young QB time to deploy all those speedy, talented receivers and backs. A young, athletic defense would swarm opposing teams, wreaking havoc and creating turnovers. It was going to make everyone forget all about McNabb and all those near-miss seasons.

Except here we are. The offensive line redo is a botch. The defense has allowed 59 points in two games, including a white-knuckle collapse against the lowly Detroit Lions last Sunday. And Kolb, the centerpiece, has already been tossed on the scrap pile among Hoying and assorted Detmers.

Before you say two weeks is too soon to judge anything, let’s synchronize our watches. We’re talking about 12 years, not two weeks. This team is the product of years of planning, arguably starting with the decision to trade a first-round pick (which became Anthony Spencer) to Dallas and take Kolb early in the second round of the 2007 draft.”

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